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Illinois gas station worker suspended after telling Latino customers 'ICE will come'

In an exchange caught on video and posted to social media, the attendant also says Latinos "need to go back to their country."
Image: Mobile gas station protest
Protesters outside a Bucky's Express gas station in Naperville, Illinois, on Wednesday after a viral video showed Latino customers being told to "go back to their country."Telemundo/WSNS-TV

A gasoline station attendant was suspended from his job Wednesday after a video was shared on social media appearing to show him telling Latino customers that "ICE will come" in Naperville, Illinois.

In the video posted to Facebook on Tuesday, the attendant at a Bucky's Express shop in Naperville gets into an argument with two women, telling them "I'm an American" and asking, "Are you a citizen?"

One of the women responds "yes" and repeatedly asks, "What is your problem?" The attendant responds: "Don't you know the rules? They need to go back to their country. It's illegal."

When one of the women says, "I hate you," he replies, "ICE will come," apparently a reference to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Carolina Buitron, who said she recorded the video, told NBC Chicago that she and her family had stopped at the gas station for chips. She said they were speaking Spanish when the attendant asked them to leave because they were "illegals."

"He started asking about my cousins, if they were illegal, family or friends, are they adopted," Buitron said.

Naperville police said they had reviewed the video and were investigating. A series of small protest marches took place outside the store Wednesday.

A spokesman for Buchanan Energy Co. of Omaha, Nebraska, which owns 44 Bucky's Express shops in the Chicago area, said the attendant "has been suspended pending an investigation."

"The comments of this associate are not reflective of the core values of Bucky's Convenience Stores," the spokesman said. "We are aware of the situation and are managing this personnel issue. We take this matter seriously and strive to ensure that all customers are treated with respect."

Mayor Steve Chirico said on Facebook that "hate has no home here in Naperville."

"Quite frankly, this type of behavior has no place in society at large," he said. "Our city prides itself on being open and inclusive to all. Civility towards each other is an important component of being a global citizen, and I urge everyone in our community to showcase the kindness, compassion, and good decorum that our residents are known for and that our world needs more of."